Wentzville, Missouri (STL.News) – A $1 billion expansion at Wentzville’s General Motors plant is one step closer to becoming a reality. On Wednesday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a proposed incentives package that includes annual tax credits to automakers that invest at least $500 million in plant upgrades. Parson held a closed door meeting at Wentzville City Hall with city, county, and state leaders to discuss the proposal that is aimed at giving Missouri an advantage when competing with other states to attract and retain major business expansion projects, including the potential General Motors investment in Wentzville.
Following the meeting, Parson held a media briefing.
“From the very beginning, our administration has been focused on two key issues, workforce development and infrastructure,” said Parson.
“Whether it’s working with major businesses like General Motors or small family businesses all across the state, business leaders throughout the state have shared the same challenges – Missouri does not have the tools that we need to compete, and to win. To make Missouri the “Best in the Midwest,” we must take action on workforce development and infrastructure.” Parson added.
Director of Missouri Economic Development Rob Dixon also attended the meeting.
“These are opportunities that don’t often come around and as a state I think its important for us to take advantage of this chance to really secure the future of General Motors in Missouri, to really help support the automotive industry in our state, and to help to really support the thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs that are dependent on the automotive sector’s success all across the state of Missouri.” Dixon said.
“We appreciate the Governor’s swift action and strong support of General Motors,” Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione said.
The Governor’s plan advances four key pieces of workforce and economic development legislation, each designed to meet employer needs across the entire state and help Missouri compete both for the General Motors project and other major business expansions in the future:
• Missouri Fast Track: Fills workforce gaps through financial aid for adult learners pursuing education and training in high demand industries
• Missouri One Start: Improves Missouri’s workforce programs that help businesses recruit, onboard, and train large numbers of job applicants during major expansions
• Missouri Works – Deal Closing Fund: Gives Missouri a negotiating tool to close deals with companies by granting tax credits earlier in a business expansion, and includes a claw back provision
• Automotive Economic Development Tools: Helps retain automotive jobs by granting $5 million in tax credits annually to automotive manufacturers that invest $500 million or more in plant upgrades and agree to retain current workers
The Missouri Legislature has to agree on the plan. Parson said GM leaders are expected to make a decision by the end of the month on which plant they will offer the expansion.